Painting in a Pandemic: How one Baton Rouge business offers the opportunity to socialize safely

Local News

BATON ROUGE, La (BRPROUD) ––– The COVID-19 pandemic put an end to most social gatherings, but one Baton Rouge business owner offers the opportunity to socialize safely. 

Violet Tremblay opened Painting and Pinot roughly ten years ago after her husband and brother-in-law gave her art supplies for Christmas. “I kind of went crazy with it and I loved it,” Tremblay said. 

She offers open classes and private events where customers can bring food, wine, and friends for an evening of painting. 

No prior experience is necessary for these classes. “It’s a social painting class and you don’t have to have any skill level, you can have never picked up a paintbrush before in your life, or you can be pretty adept at painting,” Tremblay says. Staff members teach each painting from start to finish, and the whole process takes about two hours. 

When the COVID-19 pandemic hit, Tremblay has to close her doors for about three months. Determined to bring joy to her clients, she and her staff began delivering painting kits to their door. She also offered free painting classes on Facebook live, which are still available HERE

“It was kind of nerve-wracking to get back into having full parties and classes, but then once we realized how much people really needed to get out, we just made the decision, myself, along with my staff,” Tremblay said.

Before the pandemic, class sizes could reach up to forty, but to keep everyone safe, Tremblay says that number is nearly cut in half. 

That is not the only precaution she and her staff take. Tremblay says, “everyone wears a mask, we check temperatures, we have cleaning procedures we do before and after every party, we sanitize our aprons and we have a rotation system where we sanitize them and no apron is used within four days.” Staff also keep the front door open during classes to ensure a constant flow of fresh air. 

“I feel very safe about being in the studio,” Tremblay says, but she can empathize with people who may feel uncomfortable being in a social environment. She suggests attending a class to see what precautions the staff are taking and says they are happy to make accommodations to keep you comfortable. 

The pandemic has been difficult for everyone, and Tremblay says, “mental health is really important right now, and this is a great outlet.” If painting is not your forte, she says to keep trying new things and to support local businesses. 

For more information on Painting and Pinot and their future events, visit their website HERE.

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